Summary: In these verses Paul was talking to the Corinthian church about taking an offering for the suffering saints in famine stricken Jerusalem. He was urging them to give...not grudgingly but generously, like the Macedonians who had given an offering out of the
THE GENEROUS SERVANT
Illustration #103 Larson
READ 2 COR 9:6 11
In these verses Paul was talking to the Corinthian church about taking an offering for the suffering saints in famine stricken Jerusalem. He was urging them to give...not grudgingly but generously, like the Macedonians who had given an offering out of their poverty.
Now what does this have to do with hurting, downcast people who are bankrupt of resources? People who need help...people who are even generous in their giving.
I think this has everything to do with many of you people here. And the reason is...because so many are serving God without a generous cheerful spirit.
Where is your joy and happiness in serving the Lord? This word isn’t just talking about giving money...it is speaking of ministry to God and His body!
You see, God did not send you here to this church without help or abundant resources. All you need is available to you...strength, rest, power, ability, joy and cheer. There is no reason for any of you to labor with sadness...or to be overburdened. You have access to all strength and joy!
And I’d like to show you some very important things from this passage of Scripture.
1. When God calls us to any specific work, He has already made provision for everything we need to accomplish it...with freshness and cheer!
READ V.8 ....This verse is not just a hope...it is a promise. It begins with the words "GOD IS ABLE" And He certainly is...but God is not just interested in meeting your need. He wants to give you more than you need...that’s what abound means...an ever increasing, superabundant supply!
Ephesians 3:20..."Now unto Him that is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us..."
Think of what is promised here...when you are down and tired and think you can’t go any further, God is able to so energize you that you will have all that you need..at all times..in every possible situation!
This promise includes power to keep you from falling. No matter how powerful your temptation is...or how discouraged you are about your lack of resistance, God says this about His power on your behalf:
"Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy! Jude 24
It is as if the Lord is saying, "Listen...all you who are faithful to me, who attend My house and labor in prayer...I want to give you an abundance of strength, hope, joy, peace, rest, finances, encouragement and wisdom. In fact, I want to give you an overabundance of all you need...at all times!"
God never intended for us to be spiritual paupers...poor in the things of the Lord. A generous servant is one who enjoys a revelation of all the great provisions God has prepared for him...and he goes after this revelation by faith!
READ 1 Cor. 2:9 10
Paul is saying, Hey, our forefathers couldn’t begin to comprehend all the great things God had prepared. It never entered their vision, their hearing, or even their imagination.
And there is no reason for us to be blind about these things...to go on not knowing what is ours. Our eyes must see, our ears must hear, it better enter into our hearts and minds... because we’re the people God prepared it for.
I believe most Christians haven’t honestly faced the power of these promises of God. We’ve read them many times but they are little more than dead letters written long ago with no real relevance to our lives.
We haven’t laid hold of them and said, "Lord, show me what you have prepared...open my mind and spirit to your resources. Your word says I must know all these things that are freely given so I can claim them for your glory.
Why are so many Christians so easily discouraged? Why do so many experience weakness...feelings of despair and emptiness...why do so many fail to move on and grow?...It’s because they do not have this revelation of all that God has for those who would appropriate them.
How many of you fit the description of a bountiful servant...one who has all he needs, and more, at all times, in every crisis?
Look at verse 8 (2 Cor 9)
To abound here literally means "ever increasing; to have more at the end than at the beginning"
In other words, as the battle gets hotter, God’s grace increases!...
As weakness comes upon you, His strength comes on even greater!...
And when your burdens get heavier, His power and strength increase in proportion to your burdens.
Yet God gives this strength only to those who want it, need it, and appropriate it. And I guess that’s the question...do you want it?